If you think ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ is a bunch of hooey, this month’s list is for you. We’re focusing on where to submit long short stories, aka long-form fiction.
It can be hard to find a publisher for short stories over 7,000 words (some publishers refer to stories occupying the murky ground between short story and novella as ‘novelettes’ but to us that sounds kind of demeaning; we prefer ‘long-form fiction’). And what on earth do you do with a full-blown novella (between 15,000 and 30,000 words)? Should you have one of these beasts on your hands, read on and take heart.
Poets and writers of shorter fiction, there’s some goodies here for you too. You can also see our other posts on great places to submit.
- Ploughshares Solos – an off-shoot of the well-respected Ploughshares magazine, Solos was established especially for long-form fiction. They accept stories of between 7,500 to 20,000 words and stand-alone excerpts from novels and memoirs. They read between 1 June and 15 January. And they’ll pay you! The downside: they may take up to five months to make a decision (but they often respond within two) and they do charge a $3 online submissions fee to non-subscribers.
- Arcturus – this relative newcomer, a project of the Chicago Review of Books, publishes online only. They accept fiction of up to 7,000 words— so everything from flash fiction to long-form— and poetry and nonfiction. They are looking for ‘ new ideas, new voices, new worlds, new challenges, new ways of seeing’ and are open to speculative fiction, narrative reportage, and virtually everything else. They aim to make a decision within 30 days but ask you wait two months before querying.
- Apt – publishes an annual print edition of long-form fiction of between 10,000 and 15,000 words (and poetry of between 200 to 500 lines!) as well as weekly short fiction (up to 2000 words) and poetry online. They accept long-form work between 1 March and 1 September and short fiction year round. They are looking for writing that combines the cerebral with the visceral. They love hybrids, writing with an activist bent, and they make an extra effort to support women, writers of colour, LGBQTIA, and disabled writers. They ask for up to three months to respond for the print edition, but generally get back for both print and online in around a month.
- Scarlet Leaf Review – this Canadian journal accepts stories of up to 15,000 words and novellas of up to 30,000, as well as poetry, flash fiction, short stories and creative nonfiction. Their mission is to give voice to emerging writers, so this is a great one to test the waters with. They are open to genre fiction and accept work and publish online throughout the year and generally respond within two to three months.
- Conjunctions – without a doubt the most prestigious journal on our list, Conjunctions wants innovative, boundary-pushing work. This year they are number 2 (down from number 1) on Clifford Garstang’s famous ranking of literary magazines and writers such as David Foster Wallace and Karen Russell had some of their first stories published here. They accept long-form fiction for their themed biannual print issues. There’s no official word limit, but they ask that you use good judgement, which probably means less than 10,000 words and the shorter the better. No doubt this is a long-shot, but if you have an inspired story that fits their theme, this would be an amazing place to get it published. You can also submit short stories, poetry, and creative non-fiction for their weekly online magazine. Give them at least three months to respond but they often get back in four to five weeks. The downside: they do not consider simultaneous submissions and are one of the few magazines that prefers postal submissions. If you’re in the US, that means snail mail and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Writers outside the US can submit by email.
- The Society of Misfit Stories – publishes three issues of long-form fiction annually. They accept stories of between 5,000-20,000 words and are interested in all speculative genres (horror, fantasy, science fiction, slipstream, steampunk, magical realism, etc), as well as mysteries, thrillers, and action-adventure stories. If your story is accepted, they’ll pay you $50. Their response time is not the fastest–you could be waiting six months or more.